By Gabriela Laracca
Arts & Entertainment Editor

On Oct. 29 at 8 p.m., after being surprise-gifted VIP tickets just a few hours before, I attended a concert featuring two incredibly talented acts— O.A.R. (Of A Revolution) and The New Respects.

According to other concert-goers, fans of all ages and walks of life flooded into the Penn’s Peak parking lot in Jim Thorpe starting as early as 6 p.m. When we arrived around 7:45 p.m., the lot was jam-packed. Upon entering the venue, we realized the general admission area was filled wall-to-wall with patrons. Luckily, we watched from a balcony suite to the left of the stage, directly above it.

Aided by what seemed to be a paint-ball plastered band-logo banner and a stage complete with fog machines, eye-catching light-work and heavenly acoustics, O.A.R. put on a great show pleasing to all senses, as expected.

Nashville-based band, The New Respects, on the other hand, astonished audience members with their unfamiliar name and big sound. While their aesthetic fit the role of rock star, I had never heard of them before attending their performance.

“They surprised the hell out of me,” said concert-goer Elaine Skiller. “I never heard of them before this, but they rock— they’re so talented.”

With a groovy beat and voices that never seemed to run out of air, they performed some of their hits including ‘Trouble,’ ‘Future’ and ‘Money.’ They also covered their unique version of ‘Come Together’ by the Beatles with some altered lyrics geared more towards modern issues.

O.A.R. – Photo courtesy of KU.

Comprised of siblings Darius Fitzgerald and twins Alexandria and Alexis Fitzgerald as well as their cousin Jasmine Mullen, the family band encompassed the sound of southern soul. Rolling Stone has even dubbed them one of “10 New Artists You Need To Know” of 2017.

Following an incredible opening act, O.A.R. played many old favorites throughout the course of the night including ‘That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,’ ‘Love and Memories’ and ‘Shattered.’ The alt-rock 90s/Early 2000s band hit heart strings with classic performances reminiscent of simpler days.

Their most entertaining performance was of ‘That Was a Crazy Game of Poker.’ As is custom with O.A.R. concerts, fans launched decks and decks of cards on stage as well as a few panties and bras. The crowd went wild for this nostalgic favorite.


Aside from the music, the venue itself was excellent. While our suite had an open bar with limited drink selection, the main bar in the General Admission area had wildly creative concoctions including the delicious Watermelon Martini and several craft beers.

The venue itself was like a giant log cabin so the woodwork within encased each band’s sound brilliantly regardless of the ear-popping pressure set on most attendees by being so high up in the mountains.


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